PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
DANGERS OF DOGMATISM.
Brown (a mild Agnostic, in reply to Smith, a rabid Evolutionist, who has been
asserting the doctrines of his school with unnecessary violence). “Almost thotj per-
SUADEST ME TO BE A CHRISTIAN ! ”
House’s time and temper. If notoriety is Mr. Brad laugh’s aim, he has got it
to his heart’s content.
But, before coming to the Iconoclast, let Bunch dispose of the short, but
sharp and not sweet, passage of arms in the Lords (Friday, May 21) over
Mr. Gladstone’s letter to Count Karolyi.
Lord Granville defended his chief, with his usual bland but not blunt
weapons. Mr. Gladstone had been misled into accusation by a false report
and an unfounded belief. On finding out his mistake, he had withdrawn his
accusation in what the Emperor of Austria had properly described as ‘ ‘ the
letter of an English gentleman.”
The Earl of Salisbury (always a model of the proprieties and the exactnesses
himself, and so naturally a stickler for them in others) thought the accusation
shameful and shameless, and the apology humiliating from one in Mr. Glad-
stone’s position. The Government talked of a “ European Concert.” It would
probably end in a European crash. (Not unlikely, perhaps ; thanks in no small
degree to Lord Salisbury, and if he could but once more have his way.)
Lord Kimberley denied that Mr. Gladstone meant to throw himself into the
arms of Russia; (the Bear being, indeed, the last animal of the European menagerie
we should have thought likely to inspire a taste for such a performance.)
Lord Beaconsfield was astonished that twenty-four hours had been allowed
to elapse in their Lordships’ House without comment on Mr. Gladstone’s
letter. He would not stop to inquire if his accusation of Austria was, or was
not, “ a passionate expression of vindictive memory.” (H’m—cumbrous rather
than cutting ; don’t you think so, my Lord, now you see it in print F)
Though humiliating to England, and perhaps satisfactory to Austria, his letter
would not guard this country against a policy that might endanger the peace of
The Duke of Argyll regretted the letter, but thought it had been mis-
represented—(not by Punch, who in last week’s Cartoon recognised the plum in
the pie). Ninety-nine hundredths of the Treaty of Berlin were copied from the
Treaty of San Stefano.
[Commons.]—Bradlaugh-baiting. On the Iconoclast presenting himself to
j swear, oath in one hand and book in the other, the grim Wolff—“ that beast
of heavy paw ”—who has struck once, stood ready to strike again, and objected
, to the oath being administered.
j Mr. Dillwyn wanted to know if any Member might interfere between
another Member willing to swear, and his taking the oath.
The Speaker knew of no such case.
Sir H. Wolff said that by common law an Atheist could
not take an oath; and Mr. Bradlaugh had avowed him-
self an Atheist. He moved, and Mr. Fowler seconded,
that Mr. Bradlaugh having claimed to affirm, on the
ground that the oath was not binding on his conscience,
ought not now to be allowed to take it.
Mr. Gladstone reminded the House that this was a
j udicial question. A Select Committee was the proper tri-
bunal to consider if the House had the power now claimed.
And then the House proceeded to show by a heated
interchange of strong opinions that it was eminently
unqualified for a judicial decision, and the debate was
adjourned till Monday on Mr. O’Donnell’s motion, till
Members could see in print the proposed reference to the
Questions on the Indian Finance miscalculation of four
millions. Lord Hartington deprecated discussion till
official explanations had been received and examined.
Mr. Grant Duff explained, that it was not intended
to recall Sir Bartle Frere. Sensation.
(Mr. Gladstone, whispered Liberal Members, is at
liberty to eat his own Midlothian Humble Pie—but does
Government expect its supporters to swallow a big
South-African specimen of the same unpalatable pate ?)
Then to the Report on the Address.
Mr. Balfour wanted to know if the screw was going
to be put on the Porte, and the Anglo-Turkish Conven-
tion to be modified if not thrown over F
Mr. Gladstone said the music of a European Concert was
the only sound likely to reach the deaf ear of Stamboul.
Whatever the Government might think of the Convention,
it was a binding instrument, and must be maturely con-
sidered, with a view to the harmony of the European
Mr. O’Donnell (who seems for the moment to have taken
the wind out of the sails of Mr. Parnell as Irish mischief-
maker-general), said foolish things about Irish distress,
warning the Government that if they backed Irish land-
lords in the assertion of their legal rights there would
be wild work in Ireland this winter.
Mr. Forster said the first duty of the Government was
to enforce the law, and see that the people obeyed it. Let
Irish Members do their best to aid them. Let Irish land-
lords not be extreme to insist on their rights before next
harvest, and the Government would do its best to prevent
the recurrence of such suffering.
Mr. Courtney gave vent to the feelings of many on the
Government side of the House on the non-recall of Sir
Bartle Frere, and the acceptance of the policy of
Annexation of the Transvaal.
Mr. Grant-Duff defended the Government. Sir B.
Frere was doing good and urgent work now, and a sharp
eye would be kept on him. Annexation had been
necessary to preserve peace and prevent civil war.
Mr. Chaflin said this was the biggest recantation that
the Cabinet of Recantations had yet given birth to.
Finally the Address was agreed to, and the House
adjourned, after a lively night, at a quarter to two.
(The Government is clearly having its work cut out for
it. Its supporters should have patience. But it is really
too early to set them down to Humble Pie. No wonder
Monday (Lords).— South Africa on the tapis.
Lord Carnarvon was glad the Government meant to
stick to Confederation and Transvaal Annexation, but
they must mind what they were about.
Lord Kimberley would have been thankful if their
predecessors had not left the Colonial Secretary such a
troublesome South-African legacy, but they must make
the best of it. The supremacy of the Crown must be
maintained, and Confederation forwarded.
Lord Northbrook officially announced the abandon-
ment of all hope of the Atalanta, and the nomination
of a Committee to inquire into her fitness at all points
of structure and equipment for the service she had been
(Commons.)—Mr. Labouchere gave notice of a Bill to
smooth the way for Brother Bradlaugh.
Mr. Mitchell Henry, crying like Wisdom on the
House-tops, proclaimed from the gallery how half the
House had one point in common with the angels. When
asked to sit down, they could only answer, as the cherub
answered St. Cecilia, “ Helas ! nous n'avons pas de quoi.”
BRADLAUGH-bait resumed. _ The House, generally, very
hot, heady, and excited, proving that the Collective Wis-
dom is anything but a competent tribunal for decision of